Getting Your Parent’s Input in Their Future Care After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

October 7, 2016

Caregiver in Fox Chapel PACaregiver-in-Fox-Chapel-PA

The moment that your aging parent receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life changing. You are suddenly at the beginning of a journey that involves nearly constant changes in needs and challenges, the need to make critical decisions quickly and effectively, and the understanding that everything that you thought about the future of your care for your parent is going to change. While you are facing this, it is important to remember that your parent is the one who is going through this disease and their thoughts and feelings are still what is most important. Getting their input for the future of their care is essential to giving them the type of care that they desire and deserve, and to reducing your stress by letting you know that you are making the right decisions throughout your journey.
Use these tips to get your parent’s input on the future of their care after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis:

  • Start early. Most people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when they are still in an early stage. This means that their cognitive functioning is still good enough to understand what is going on around them and to make decisions that are right for them. Start making these decisions as soon after the diagnosis as possible to ensure that your parent is at the best stage for these decisions.
  • Empower them. Many elderly adults suffer from a feeling of helplessness after such a diagnosis. Remind your parent that they still have plenty of life, and quality of life, ahead of them and that you want to make sure that their wishes are honored at all stages of their progression.
  • Discuss your feelings. Your parent might not want to talk about the future of their care. They might feel as though discussing these issues make it more “real” or that they are “giving up”. Change their thinking about this situation by discussing your own emotions regarding your care journey and the decisions that you will have to make. Tell them that getting their input is important to you so that you can feel less overwhelmed and nervous about making the decisions that your parent would want you to make. They may be more willing to go through this process when they know that it is for you than if they thought it was only for themselves.

As you are dealing with the stress of being a family caregiver for an adult who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, do not hesitate to seek out support and assistance for yourself. The needs and demands of a senior who is dealing with this type of progressive disease can be extremely demanding and more than one person can handle for themselves. Getting assistance and support from professionals such as a home care provider and a support group can reduce your stress, enable you to take time to yourself, and ensure that your parent is getting everything that they need at all times to stay as safe, healthy, and happy as possible throughout their later years.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Fox Chapel, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551